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Rediger: Deer hunting in Cape limits not a foregone conclusion

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mayor Harry Rediger did his best to assuage fears Wednesday night that the Cape Girardeau City Council has already made up its mind to allow deer hunting in the city limits.

Rediger told the group that vehemently opposes allowing hunters to shoot deer in town using bow and arrows that the council has yet to make a decision. Rediger attended the Cape Friends of Wildlife meeting to listen, but interjected when someone said that the "the writing is on the wall."

The mayor seemed to bristle at the suggestion that the council would rubber stamp the Deer Management Committee's recommendation that such an ordinance to allow urban deer hunting would thin the herd that is being blamed for an increase in motor vehicle accidents and ruined landscapes.

"I think it is a real possibility that we just might wait and get more information," Rediger told the group of about 20 that gathered at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. "To say our mind is made up is exactly wrong. I don't think the council has made up its mind."

Rediger, who told a reporter he isn't even leaning any particular way, insisted that the residents could rely on the council to gather more information in order to make a decision. One person at the meeting said that the mayor's comments were reassuring.

Also in attendance was Councilwoman Kathy Swan, making Wednesday's event a one-sided preview of Monday's council meeting, where the citizen committee that was appointed in late November is expected to tell the council that urban deer hunting is the most cost-effective and efficient method to reduce the number of deer in the city.

Only one member of the Deer Management Committee attended the Cape Friends of Wildlife gathering, Jim Whitnel, the lone no vote who will also address the council Monday to relay his concerns.

On March 6, the Deer Management committee voted 4-1 to recommend urban deer hunting. While the vote was lopsided, opposition leader Stephen Stigers urged his like-minded Cape Friends of Wildlife to show up in droves to the meeting to show that many disagree with the plan.

Stigers reiterated what the group has been saying for months -- that not enough information has been gathered to know if a problem even exists in Cape Girardeau or if urban deer hunting is the best solution if there is a problem.

"We need to insist on good surveys," Stigers said. "I'm afraid of a slapdash drive-by survey that will allow people to run with this."

Those on the committee have countered that the state's Department of Conservation has said there is a deer problem that will only get worse if something isn't done. They also have maintained that bow hunting is among the safest forms of hunting and that accidents are rare.

The members of Cape Friends of Wildlife aren't buying it. Dale Humphries, for example, would like the city to look into the possibility of adding more deer crossing signs to see if that might curtail the number of accidents. Humphries also said the issue is not about emotions.

"It's about right and wrong," she said. "It's about coexisting with nature. ... I think they should do something that's less radical."

Judy Pulley, a retired schoolteacher who attended Wednesday night's meeting, thinks the Deer Management Committee rushed to judgment without all the facts. In addition to the lack of a deer count, Pulley noted that the committee gathered no information on the number of landscape complaints.

"I don't want this turned into a killer arena," she said. "Just because the solution is cheap doesn't make it right."

Swan told the group that the council could react to the committee's recommendation a number of ways. Council members could ask that an ordinance be drafted that would put the issue to a vote, could table the issue or ask city staff to do more research.

"Our primary concern as the city council is the safety of the citizens," Swan said. "I need a lot more data before I make a decision."



Pertinent address:

711 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

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Could you imagine what the counties would be like if deer hunting were not allowed? There would be so many deer, you couldn't get down the road.

-- Posted by thewonder on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 7:27 AM

Will some body make a decision on this issue one way or another instead of all of these committees, hearings meeting after meeting so this issue can be laid to rest either way. Time to move on

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 8:28 AM

Before such drastic and divisive action is taken, a formal survey needs to be done that indicates that the deer population poses a threat to all those who live in and around the City of Cape Girardeau. If it is an isolated population problem, individual property owners will need to take care of it on their own. There is no harm in paying for a formal survey to be done.

-- Posted by Sunday's_Child on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 8:44 AM

The idea that you can have individual property owners take care of it on their own is not a possibility.

Want to see what some of the opposition believe?


Deer "families"? Really?

-- Posted by semorider on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 9:00 AM

Individual property owners need to take care of the problem on their own???? Are you for real? Bet if you had a pack of wild dogs roaming your neighborhood you wouldn't feel that way. If you don't have the smarts to know by now the deer are a problem you will in the years to come because it WILL be all property owners problem.

-- Posted by Agnes on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 10:22 AM

The study that I think needs to be done is get an accurate count on how few flakes there are making all of this racket and then purchase pacifiers for them to suck on.

The mayor needs to realize that you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. You'll always have the dissenters. It's time to move on!

-- Posted by thewonder on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 10:35 AM

everyone just needs to pull together and solve the problem not argue the problem,they need to do this urban hunt but make sure the ones who are hunting are good at what they do i stated before a deer comes in front of you and your shaking because of the rush and you pull your bow back and accidently hit the trigger release and miss your kill shot only to gut shot the deer.Now guess what you have to track it and aint no telling were it will go since there are so many houses around and no cover,it could go as far as a mile or more think about it, proven fact in st louis deer crashed thru front window of house it seen its reflection, destroying the house and yes it could happen in cape thats why we need to thin them out god put them here to eat and to harvest and for all of you that hyad landscaping destroyed dont put flowers out they will destroy them, also did you know that in jefferson barracks cemetery in st louis the deer are so bad they tore flowers out of the ground now they have a urban hunt there

-- Posted by wdjjyellow on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 11:07 AM

If you've ever been on the 15th fairway at the Jaycee course you'd realize there is a problem. The deer dung is so thick you can barley find a stance. The smell is at times overwhelming. Thin the herd to keep them healthy.

-- Posted by yy4me on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 11:12 AM

There are several problems with over population of deer. If you don't live where the deer eat everything in your yard, you have no idea what it is like. It seems to me the people who have no problem have no sympathy for the people who are affected. It also seems that the people against urban deer hunting are very rude; like - thewonder. When you live in the City you shouldn't have big animals wondering in your yard.

-- Posted by Sunday on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 11:20 AM

Can the Conservation Department come in and capture a lot of these deer inside the City Limits and move them back out in to the wild would that work?

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 12:22 PM

Stigers, for an issue that concerns you so deeply, you appear quite ignorant. You continue to argue that we need a "good survey?" Are you kidding me? So now that urban hunting has proven to be safe and the most cost effective/efficient method, you are going back to the argument that we don't have a problem. The MDC states the deer are overpopulated and, if you are a halfway intelligent citizen of Cape Girardeau, you would agree based on driving around the wooded areas of the city. You obviously did not receive your PhD in Environmental Science.

-- Posted by ,n sense on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 1:13 PM

There is no deer problem in our town. Here's a suggestion: lower and enforce the speed limit. I recognize there's a few homeowners who are experiencing some minor damage to their landscape. However, that is not a problem that the town needs to get bogged down with and it doesn't seem practical that tax dollars and resources from this town need to expended on. Personally to me, the deer represent a nice amenity as part of living in a rural area. One other suggestion I might make: Think about the dollars you spend on landscaping before you actually spend the money, knowing that in a rural setting, there's wildlife that could come and damage it. If you're fine with spending 10K on landscaping and underground watering systems knowing that wildlife could disrupt it, then you should realize that from time to time, you may have repairs. There is no deer problem in our town.

-- Posted by Beaker on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 3:13 PM

Beaker...sorry but to be blunt you are out of our mind! You don't live in a deer infested area. "A few homeowners experiencing minor damage"...you don't even have a clue...A nice "amenity"? Come sink your boots in my back yard. A disruption from time to time..."repairs"...?????? You obviously are not a home owner...you know nothing about people who are.

-- Posted by Agnes on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 4:20 PM

Hey On Edge - Beaker is so far off I don't think he's even worth a comment.

-- Posted by Sunday on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 4:32 PM

i am really tired of anti hunters

-- Posted by le888 on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 7:28 PM

i agree with sunday the reason is there so pumped up on this urban hunting that it has went to there head so they can say oh boy oh boy i get to go urban hunting there should not be large wild animals running around town . ok take a look at bertling and sprigg good example they have done alot of building thru there all the way from sprigg to lexington and 177 area well i hate to say it but there were alot of deer there before they done all that building they just built around the animals you can do a urban hunt but deer populate like cockaroaches just think one doe can produce two or three deer one year and a buck can do as many does as he can get his legs around sorry didnt meen to put it like that we all need to get along and work smarter not fight harder

-- Posted by wdjjyellow on Thu, Mar 15, 2012, at 10:24 PM

Maybe I missed this somewhere, but how much will it actually COST the taxpayers if we allow urban bow hunting? Will licenses be sold to prospective hunters? I wouldn't much care to spend taxpayers money to save someone's landscaping, you really do need to look at where you live when you spend a lot of money on such things. We really aren't "the city".

-- Posted by ssnkemp on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 5:37 AM

Beaker is absolutely correct! It seems most of the individuals who support this issue are under the assumption that those of us against it are against hunting. How ridiculous. Am I out of my mind? of course not. Those who favor hunting in City limits are not paying attention. Show me the statistics on deer related vehicle accidents that occur within the City. Show me the records of how many Cape Girardeau citizens have been hurt due to over population of deer. Show me a scientific study on just how many deer we are taliking about. Most if not all the complaints come from home owners(yes I am one and do live in the City) who are having property destruction issues. The property in question is mainly ornamental plants and shrubs. Hardly a reason to throw away existing ordinances that have been in place for decades that serve to protect those of us who live within the Cities borders. Yes, we have deer here in Cape Girardeau. We also have armadillos that are far more destructive then deer as well as ground hogs that destroy hill sides. Shal we allow hunting these critters as well? You folks that agree with this so called "urban hunt" have spewed all sorts of so called facts but all I have read is issues and facts on safety. Guess what folks, it's not all about safety. Its also about deer being wounded by bad shots with arrows running around town and dying in someone elses yard as well as nothing in the way of statistics that prove there even is a problem. I for one will not put my trust about anything in the MCD. They have trouble getting anything right! The abatement officer here in town has absolutely no experience or expertise in deer related issues. The committee that was formed was also hand picked with little if any knowledge or stats to back up their claims and decision. In short, deer are here to stay and I am very glad they are. My grandfather passed away some years ago very happy that once again in Missouri we have a nice deer population. As a child and young adult he was not able to hunt deer as there were none. Killing a few deer will not keep them out of Cape Girardeau and will not serve any purpose other then to make it easy for some over zealous hunters and landowners to take a deer. It seems most of you are simply in this for the hunt and care little about statistics that would prove the need for a hunting season on deer within City limits. We all have thousands of acres to hunt deer locally without having a legal bow hunt here in Cape.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 5:48 AM

Stats and Facts from the MDC:

-In Missouri, no bowhunting related injures have been sustained by non-hunters.

-Most bowhunting injuries are self-inflicted, such as falling from a treestand.

-Since 2002, bowhunting accidents account for less than 2 percent of all the hunting accidents/injuries in the US. Hunting (all methods) remains one of the safest forms of recreation in the country.

-Hunting is 14 times safer than golf and 293 times safer than football (injuries per 100,000 participants)

-Injuries from badminton occur more often than hunting injuries

Live trapping and sterilization is not efficient or cost effective because it requires animal capture, administration or drugs or surgery, high stress to animals and produces little if any reduction in deer density.

Contraception procedures are not legal in most situations. They are neither cost effective nor biologically feasible.

Live trapping and transfer of deer is NOT allowed because of high mortality associated with the process and risks of spreading deer diseases and parasites.

Fencing can be installed to restrict and prevent deer access. This is very expensive and deer can cross many kinds of fences even higher that six feet tall. In the City of Cape, you can not have a fence higher than 6 feet and it can not extend beyond the front edge of your home.

-- Posted by semorider on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 8:41 AM

Semorider, perhaps the City code can be changed to offer homeowners with deer problems the ability to build taller fences. That would not be difficult. As for the rest of your stats, I have read them before semorider. Show me the facts concerning numbers of deer as well as deer related accidents and human encounters resulting in injury. I don't argue that bow hunting can be safe if done correctly.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 9:49 AM

Greywolf's got it right!! Wounded deer is the issue, and it doesn't look pretty when you're in the woods, and a whole lot worse when in an urban environment and the general public sees it...NOT GOOD! Too many "bwana" bowhunters run around and are mediocre shots. I for one believe in "one shot kills". And if I am not in practice, and I mean a lot of practice, I don't take the shot. Simple as that! "One shot,one down"! PERIOD.

-- Posted by vietnamvet on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 10:25 AM

Grey, why should a homeowner have to install a six foot plus high fence to the tune of thousands of dollars? In addition, any fence within the city limits can not extend beyond the front edge of the home. This would leave the front yard completely exposed. Even if this wasn't the case, I doubt any homeowner would want to completely surround their house with a six foot plus high fence.

It's amazing how much of an expert you are on every subject imaginable. You are the world's best keyboard quarterback.

-- Posted by semorider on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 12:03 PM

Vietnamvet, do you think it is nice to see a deer that has been struck with a vehicle?

-- Posted by semorider on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 12:05 PM

I'm not saying there is or isn't a deer problem. But, why not contact the administrators of the schools in areas that already have urban hunts. Then, politely ask them to survey the students as to whether or not they have ever seen wounded deer from the hunts? I mean seen first hand, not where their uncle knew a guy who said a friend of his neighbors kid saw one.My bet would be the percentage that have seen, just at random, a wounded animal would be far less than 1%.

We widen roads, we improve shoulders, we install guard rails, we install rumble strips, we add reflective signs, etc,etc, all to make driving safer. Yet, for the deer we should just slow down? Wouldn't just slowing down work for the other conditions as well?

-- Posted by malan on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 1:42 PM

There were 45 reported deer/vehicle accidents reported in 2011. If you figure an average of $2000 per accident (which is probably a low number), that amounts to $90,000 + in losses last year alone.

The actual number is actually much higher according to the PD. Many accidents are not reported due to the person thinking they will get in trouble, the driver had liability only insurance so filing a report is worthless and issues involving drunk drivers and/or those without a valid driver's license or insurance.

There are also quite a few deer hit on I55 and never reported. That is usually the case.

-- Posted by semorider on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 1:45 PM

I see semorider!!! You attack me because I happen to disagree and make good points. Well, perhaps my quarterbacking is a bit better than yours. Ignore my post semorider, if you cannot debate with a bit more respect.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 3:39 PM

I don't know how it came about that those of us for urban deer hunting are against hunting in general...hunting has nothing to do with this. It's about health issues, destruction of property (not little shrubs either) and accidents. Please look up Creve Coeur Deer Management and see how they handled the over population of deer unless you don't want to read articles that make perfect sense.

-- Posted by Agnes on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 4:37 PM

Greywolf, I state facts, you state opinions.

-- Posted by semorider on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 6:41 PM

Try placing or hanging bath bar soap in your garden, flowers or shrubs to deter the deer from having a meal at your expense.

-- Posted by wildlflvur on Fri, Mar 16, 2012, at 8:32 PM

Last time I checked Semorider, this IS an opinion forum. Your facts refer to safety issues. I can't understand why you think this is all about safety. You don't seem to understand that many of us who are against this issue do not base their disapproval on safety issues. I have never said bow hunting is not and cannot be a safe method in hunting deer. I simply do not think we need to abandon ordinances that have been on the books for decades concerning hunting within City limits.

Tell me Semorider, who will get these permits? Will it be limited to City residents only? It should! Should it be only land owners who are having deer related destruction of plants and shrubs who are allowed to hunt the deer damaging their precious property? Perhaps you are not even a City resident Semorider. Of course I believe you must be or you would not be posting on this subject. Tell ya what Semorider, let's just agree to disagree on this issue. You seem to be more interested in attacking me rather then discuss the issue civilly. No need to do that Semorider just because I disagre with your OPINION as well as some of your so called facts! Here is a fact for you, Deer will always cause vehicle accidents as long as there is a population of deer. I for one thank God that their is deer in Missouri again. Killing them because some high end home owners are having trouble with plant destruction is not, IN MY OPINION, a reason to dismiss an ordinance that has served to protect the City residents for many decades.


-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Sat, Mar 17, 2012, at 7:33 AM

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